February 19th, 2004

Channel 4. 4 Homes (sponsored by Direct Line Home Mover). Property Ladder. Is it me or does this programme suffer from a lack of people who actually want to make money from property? I can’t remember the last time that the subjects of the programme actually sold their house on to make serious cash profit. They tend to fall in love with the place and keep it for themselves. Whilst this is all very nice, it’s not exceptionally useful for people to see the whole ‘property development’ thing unravel before your eyes. It’s almost like the show is about people doing up houses they’ve bought in a style they like with a all-knowing woman going around telling them that the decisions they’ve made are wrong and wont make them any money. True enough, but half of these people seem to just want to be on TV so they fabricate the fact that are going to become property developers.

Interestingly Channel 4 already screens a show where an all-knowing woman walks around criticising people doing up their homes. It’s called ‘Other people’s houses’ and it’s hilarious. Don’t get me wrong, I think Sarah Beeney is excellent at what she does and is obviously a very successful property developer but the people she follows around on her show just aint into it. Maybe for the next series she should follow around some real property developers who actually want to make money from property development so we can all see the process actually working.

Relocation Relocation doesn’t work as a format either. In a contrast to the easily accessible Location Location Location we find buyers looking to sell up their expensive London pads (yes, they’re all Londoners – who else can afford to sell a flat to buy two houses?) to buy a crash pad in the city and a mansion in the country. Maybe it’s just me but this just isn’t a situation I can relate to. The show lasts for a whole hour in which the majority of the time is spent looking for the expensive mansion and token air time is dedicated to looking to for the dilapidated or characterless crash pad. But I like the two presenters. Their presentation style may be slightly uncomfortable but the bloke is pure comedy value. Last night he leaped over a fence rather than take the style in true school boy fashion. The woman (sorry, I forget their names) has the worst dress sense on TV and is all the more enduring for it. But stick to the original format of Location Location Location – a much more watchable show.

Grand Designs on the other hand continues to amaze with the diverse range of projects the people take on in order to build their own home. Each week the show follows a dedicated couple who want to make their dream home into a reality. The presenter, Kevin McCloud, puts a very narrative bent on the show which pulls you in to the plight of each and every personal project. We really get to know the people in the programmes and it is no wonder that it continues to be the most successful Channel 4 property programme.


One Response to “4Homes”

  1. Shay

    Grand Designs rules! Unfortunately I missed it last night as I was out. D’oh!!